Popcorn’s good, but Poppy Krunch – a crunchy snack made from popcorn coated with a topping your sweet tooth will appreciate – is better than plain popcorn any day. This recipe was adapted by DaVita renal dietitian Jackie from North Carolina so that those with kidney disease can enjoy it along with family and friends. It makes the perfect snack for after-school munching or when the family gathers for movie night. You can easily make it ahead of time and store in an airtight container until you’re ready to serve.
A native of North Carolina, Jackie studied at East Carolina University in Greenville. Her interest in the science of nutrition led her to a career in dietetics. “I started working in a small hemodialysis clinic about 20 years ago. The flexible hours allowed me to balance my career and family life," Jackie explains.
Today, Jackie has a busy schedule working as a renal dietitian at two dialysis centers in North Carolina. She’s been with DaVita for 9 years and enjoys the company’s team approach. “I’ve learned that DaVita really is the provider, partner and employer of choice,” Jackie says.
With the many demands of her job, Jackie has perfected the art of juggling. "The most challenging aspect of my job is time management. Covering three clinics can be difficult at times," she explains. But Jackie enjoys her work and says fulfillment comes from interacting with her dialysis patients and their families. “The smile on a patient’s face when they have a ‘Good Nutrition Report Card’ is so rewarding. “
When asked how she makes a difference in dialysis patients’ lives, Jackie says she knows that “teaching patients to make healthy food choices will improve their health and well-being.” And what greater gift is there than better quality of life?
The key to improving health, though, ultimately lies with the patient, and Jackie advises each of her dialysis patients to be an active participant in their own health care. During her career as a dietitian, she’s developed tools she uses to encourage her renal patients’ involvement, such as yummy, kidney-friendly recipes. “I’ve found that patients enjoy trying new recipes." When working with her renal patients, Jackie focuses on consistent follow-up and reinforcement. By providing tools and encouragement, she’s able to empower her patients so they can successfully handle their renal diet challenges.
Next time you’re looking for a satisfying snack that’s on track with the kidney diet, remember Jackie from North Carolina’s Poppy Krunch. Once you try it, you may never go back to plain popcorn again!